WASHINGTON (Army News Service, March 16, 2007) - The Army has expanded its $2K Referral Bonus program to include civilian employees, making it possible for them to earn $2,000 while helping the Army boost enlistments.

Until yesterday, the recruiting incentive - known as the "$2K Referral Bonus" program for the regular Army and Army Reserve, and "Every Soldier is a Recruiter" in the National Guard - applied only to Soldiers and Army retirees who referred applicants who enlist, complete basic training and graduate from advanced individual training.

The bonus for referring a prospective applicant who has never served in the armed forces originated in January 2006 with a $1,000 bonus. It was doubled in November 2006.

Under the newly expanded program, a Department of the Army civilian who refers a prospective recruit before the applicant meets with a recruiter is eligible for the award. Restrictions preclude the referral of an immediate family member (including an adopted or step-child). Additionally, the referral must be made via the following Web sites, respectively, for active-duty Army prospective recruits and Army National Guard prospective recruits: https://www.usarec.army.mil/smart/ or www.1800goguard.com/esar.

Referrals for the regular Army and Army Reserve may also be made by calling U.S. Army Recruiting Command's toll-free number: (800) 223-3735. Referrals to the National Guard may be made by calling the Guard's toll-free number: (866) 566-2472.

"As the Army Civilian Creed notes, Army civilians are dedicated members of the Army team. They support the mission, and they provide stability and continuity during war and peace," said Lt. Gen. Michael Rochelle, the Army's deputy chief of staff for personnel. "I know they are directing deserving youth to recruiters now. This will not only encourage them, but also reward them for their service."

For more information about the referral program, visit https://www.usarec.army.mil/smart/ or call (800) 223-3735, extension 6-0473.

(Heike Hasenauer is the senior editor for "Soldiers" magazine.)